Petestack Blog

6 December 2009

Mind over matter

Filed under: Running — admin @ 5:17 pm

A very satisfying run over the Devil’s Staircase to Altnafeadh and back this afternoon…

To explain quite simply, I ran every step of the way with no walking or stops whatsoever. While I’ve more than once run the whole way back up the short, steep (Glen Coe) side and down the long (Kinlochleven) side, today I ran all the way up the long side (where I usually let myself walk for a few steps above the Penstock) and down to Glen Coe, just touching one of the roadside marker posts where I’d normally take a quick standing break and heading straight back up. So perhaps I was suffering by the time I hit the zigzags towards the top, but kept it together through a real mind-over-matter head game and shuffling jog to the twin cairns, after which I knew I was home dry (except that it rained, but you know what I mean?) and running more freely again.

Not by any means my fastest trip over this course (some 16 to 17 minutes outside my best), but I’m still well over my target weight for next summer’s ultras (when I know I’m fastest at my lightest) and running’s rarely the quickest or most efficient way up the steepest ground anyway. That said, for the sheer self-discipline of convincing myself I’m strong and my body’s capable of going where my mind can, it’s pretty encouraging at this stage! :-)

1 Comment

  1. Some performance Pete; it’s a long slog from KLL to the top of the Devil’s Staircase. I’ve never done that section going south – it’s the only bit of the route I haven’t done in both directions. Don’t think I’d be running all the way, however…

    Comment by Ian — 6 December 2009 @ 7:30 pm

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